Monday, July 13, 2009

Ethnonationalism runs deep

So grave was the crisis in western China that President Hu Jintao canceled a meeting with President Obama, broke off from the G8 summit and flew home. By official count, 158 are dead, 1,080 injured and a thousand arrested in ethnic violence between Han Chinese and the Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs of Xinjiang. That is the huge oil-rich province that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and several Central Asian countries that seceded from the Soviet Union. Uighur sources put the death toll much higher. The Communist Party chief in Xinjiang has promised to execute those responsible for the killings.

In 1989, fear that what was happening in Eastern Europe might happen in Beijing produced Tiananmen Square. The flooding of Chinese troops into Xinjiang bespeaks a fear that what happened to the Soviet Union could happen to China. Unlike Mikhail Gorbachev, the Chinese, as they showed in Tibet, will wage civil war to crush secession. Already, Beijing has struggled to ensure perpetual possession of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet -- half of the national territory -- by moving in millions of Han Chinese, swamping the indigenous peoples, as they did in Manchuria.

The larger issue here is the enduring power of ethnonationalism -- the drive of ethnic minorities, embryonic nations, to break free and create their own countries, where their faith, culture and language are predominant. The Uighurs are such a people.

Ethnonationalism caused the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, triggered World War I in Sarajevo, and tore apart the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. Ethnonationalism birthed Ireland, Turkey and Israel.

Ethnonationalism in the 1990s tore apart the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and broke up Czechoslovakia, creating two-dozen nations out of three. Last August, ethnonationalism, with an assist from the Russian Army, relieved Georgia of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia has its own ethnic worries in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, whose Moscow-installed president was nearly blown to pieces two weeks ago and where a Chechen convoy was ambushed last week with 10 soldiers killed.

The ethnonationalism that pulled Ireland out of the United Kingdom in 1921 is pulling Scotland out. It split the Asian subcontinent up into Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Iran, Iraq and Pakistan are all threatened.

Persians are a bare majority against the combined numbers of Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluch. Each of those minorities shares a border with kinfolk -- in Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Turkey has fought for decades against Kurd ethnonationalism. If one were to wager on new nations, Kurdistan and Baluchistan would be among the favorites. And Pashtun in Pakistan outnumber Pashtun in Afghanistan, though in the latter they are the majority.

In Africa, the savage attacks on the Kikiyu by Luo manifest a resurgent tribalism, as did the horrors of Rwanda, where Tutsi in the hundreds of thousands were massacred by Hutu.

President Clinton may have apologized to the Africans for not sending troops to stop the genocide in Rwanda, but if the America of Obama is into interventionism to protect human rights, Africa in the 21st century should provide us plenty of opportunity.

Evo Morales in Bolivia, Ollanta Humala in Peru and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez are stoking the embers, goading the Indian populations, the indigenous peoples, to take back what the white man took 500 years ago. They have met with no small success.

The contrast between insouciant America and serious China today is instructive. China is protectionist; America free trade. China is nationalist; America globalist. China's economy is export-driven; America's base is consumption. China saves; America spends. China uses its foreign exchange to lock up overseas resources; America uses foreign aid for humanitarian assistance to failed states. Behaving like ruthlessly purposeful 19th-century Americans, China grows as America shrinks.

Where Beijing floods its borderlands with Han to reduce indigenous populations to minorities, and stifles religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity, America, declaring, "Diversity is our strength!" invites the whole world to come to America and swamp her own native-born.

Observing the lightning breakup of the Soviet Union, the Chinese take ethnonationalism with deadly seriousness. American's elite regard it an irrelevancy, an obsession only of the politically retarded. After all, they tell us, we were never blood-and-soil people, always a propositional nation, a nation of ideas. Our belief in democracy, diversity, and equality define us and make us different from all other nations. Indeed, we now happily predict the year, 2042, when Americans of European ancestry become a minority in a country whose Founding Fathers declared it set aside for "ourselves and our posterity."

Without the assent of her people, America is being converted from a Christian country, nine in 10 of whose people traced their roots to Europe as late as the time of JFK, into a multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural Tower of Babel not seen since the late Roman Empire. The city farthest along the path is Los Angeles, famous worldwide for the number, variety, and size of its ethnic and racial street gangs. Not to worry. It can't happen here.


Enduring Nonsense

By: Daniel Mandel

The other week, responding to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech that envisaged creating a demilitarized Palestinian state, perennial Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak noted, “I told President Obama that solving the crises of the Arab and Muslim worlds goes through Jerusalem.” The week before, General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, said, “Hezbollah’s justifications for existence will become void…if the Palestinian cause is resolved.”

The notion that the Israeli/Arab conflict lies at the core of Middle Eastern problems has been popular among the political class for years:

* UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “If the issues with the conflicts between Israel and Palestine go well, [resolutions of] other issues in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Syria, are likely to follow suit” (January 2007).

* Jordan’s King Abdullah: “solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem, allows us to tackle the other issues around us … Whether people like it or not, the linchpin is always the Israeli-Palestinian problem” (January 2007).

* Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: “I expressed to the President the centrality of [this] conflict to the people of the region … [putting] the peace process back on track is central to enhancing the prospects of reform and the prosperity in the region” (April 2004).

* Then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “[Middle Eastern] terrorism will not be defeated without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine” (July 2003).

In fact, it was this very idea that led America in 1991, vigorous and prestigious in the Middle East after vanquishing Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, to try and terminate it.

At the time, American time and talent might have been better utilized urging Arab allies to liberalize their tyrannies or on off-setting the destabilizing constellation represented by Syria’s Assad and the Iranian mullahs.

Instead, then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State, James Baker, chose to think that solving the Arab-Israeli conflict was central and achievable – much like President Obama does today and George W. Bush did before him.

Yet, even before Bush and Baker gave international sanction to the centrality myth, history had already pronounced it a nonsense.

The Arab-Israeli conflict had no bearing on the Algerian war in the 1950s; Egypt’s invasion of Yemen, the bloody emergence of the Ba’athist dictatorship in Iraq, or the Aden Emergency, all in the 1960s; or the Libyan-Chad war in the late 1970s; or the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, which claimed a million lives; or Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990.

Nor did it have any bearing on events that were to follow – like Saddam’s subsequent massacres of hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia, the Taliban seizure of most of Afghanistan, or the descent of Somalia into a Hobbesian arena of rival militias.

Nonetheless, Bush and Baker convened the 1991 Madrid Arab-Israeli peace conference, which was succeeded by the Oslo process between Israelis and Palestinians. All must now agree that the results were the opposite of peace and reconciliation – in that conflict, or any other.

But Oslo’s collapse failed to induce a reappraisal of either the alleged centrality of the Arab-Israeli conflict or its capacity for resolution.

The same James Baker was to be found reinvigorating the old centrality chestnut as co-author of the 2006 Iraq Study Group, which again declared regional peace and progress to be hostage to a resolvable Arab-Israeli animosity.

However, reality still fails to oblige. Israelis, long reconciled to the idea of a Palestinian state and still largely of the view that a peace settlement would entail creating one, no longer believe that doing so will bring it peace and therefore oppose it. Negotiated withdrawals in the West Bank and unilateral ones from Gaza and southern Lebanon having failed to bring peace and acceptance, Israelis oppose more concessions.

Indeed, examining the words and deeds of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Hamas in Gaza, and the temper of Palestinian opinion favoring terrorism and rejecting Israel’s existence, the only possible conclusion is that Palestinians neither accept Israel as a Jewish state, nor revile terrorism against it performed in their name, nor see Palestinian statehood as a goal whose attainment should change either of these facts.

But supposing for a moment that none of this were true and the conflict presently resolvable, it would still be difficult to see what possible influence an Israeli-Palestinian peace could produce elsewhere in the Middle East.

* The Taliban and al-Qaeda would not lay down their arms in Afghanistan or Pakistan because of such an agreement.

* The Sudanese regime and the Janjaweed militia would not end their slaughter of black animists in Darfur upon news of an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty.

* The Islamic Courts Union in Somalia would not desist in its efforts to dominate the country, let alone dispatch an ambassador to Israel.

* The Iranian regime would not revise its determination that Israel must be wiped from the map, just because Israel would now be sharing it with a neighboring country called Palestine.

* Islamist terrorists would still shed the blood of Hindus in India, Buddhists in Thailand and Catholics in the Philippines. And they would still shed the blood of fellow Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey.

This being the case, declaring that the Israeli-Palestinian impasse lies at the heart of regional turbulence and global threat is not an assertion about the importance of producing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Rather, it is a formulation whose origins lie in hostility to Israel’s existence, a hostility that precludes the prospect of terminating the conflict even as it blames Israel for it.

It is an insinuation of Israeli illegitimacy and guilt, made by the devious (Abdullah, Mubarak) and restated by the credulous (Ban, Blair). Into which category President Obama falls remains to be seen.

Interestingly, President Obama shied away from explicitly calling the Arab-Israeli conflict the core issue in the Middle East in his Cairo speech last month: there, it became the second of four such issues, the other three being unspecified “violent extremists” (al-Qaeda and their ilk), nuclear proliferation and democracy (more precisely, the lack thereof) in the region. Nonetheless, the pride of place the Obama Administration is giving the Arab-Israeli issue; the overt connection it has drawn between it and the resolution of other matters, like Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons; and its endorsement of the Arab demand that Jews stop moving to the West Bank and even eastern Jerusalem, are all hallmarks of a belief in its centrality.

Burying the myth of Arab-Israeli centrality, however, is easier said than done, because so many are invested in it.

For Arab despots, continuing blissfully unhindered in their repressive ways requires getting the U.S. to desist pestering them about pesky matters like human rights. This is best achieved by persuading the U.S. that the key to a liberalized Middle East lies in its working to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict first. This in turn leads successive administrations into pursuing Arab/Israeli diplomatic debacles for whose inevitable failure it can then be blamed by Arab despots.

U.S. support for Israel – which can be made to mean anything short of cutting off diplomatic and trade relations with it – will supply the necessary alibi for further conflict and the continued elusiveness of Arab warmth for America.

For Western politicians – in this context, the word statesmen grates – demanding further Israeli concessions in another foredoomed peace bid allows them to gratify Arab tyrants who export Muslim radicals to their shores while hoping for the best. Short of resolution, let alone a program, for resisting Islamist encroachments at home, this is what passes for the strategy of the free world today.

In short, Middle Eastern pathologies caused and exacerbated the very conflict whose solution is now held out at as their cure. But as any doctor knows, treating symptoms rather than causes effects no cure; still less so, when the patient is only marginally responsive to palliative treatment. Invasive surgery on a weakened body lacking any prospect of success serves no purpose – unless the purpose be malign.

Breaking out of this dangerous, self-defeating cycle of delusion and distraction will be painful for the U.S. and the West. Expect therefore much continued avoidance and denial in Western chanceries.


New Study: Sexual Orientation Can Be Changed

Peer-reviewed scientific survey looks at more than a century of research to determine that those with unwanted same-sex attractions can benefit from therapy and should continue to have access to it

A new report in this month's issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Sexuality finds that sexual orientation can be changed — and that psychological care for individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions is generally beneficial and that research has not found significant risk of harm.

The study, conducted by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), examined more than 100 years of professional and scientific literature from 600-plus studies and reports from clinicians, researchers and former clients principally published in professional and peer-reviewed journals.

"This research is a significant milestone when it comes to the scientific debate over the issue of homosexuality," NARTH President Dr. Julie Hamilton said. "It also confirms what we have seen evidenced in hundreds of individuals who have benefited from the help of NARTH therapists.

"We believe that every person should have the right to independently determine their own course in life, and for many that involves seeking counseling options that affirm their personal beliefs."

The survey, titled What Research Shows: NARTH's Response to the American Psychological Association's Claims on Homosexuality, was assembled over 18 months by three of the leading academics and therapists in the field and under the direction of the NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee. It confirms the results of a 2007 longitudinal study conducted by researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark Yarhouse that found that religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals and does not cause psychological harm on average.

The last finding is important, because it directly refutes unsubstantiated claims made by some factions of the American Psychological Association (APA) and several other professional mental health organizations that it is unethical for therapists to assist patients to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.

"The APA's own Code of Ethics supports every client's rights to autonomy and self-determination in therapy and mandates that therapists either respect a client's practice of religion and sexual orientation or refer the client to a professional who will offer such respect," NARTH explains in the report. "Clients who are not distressed about their sexual orientation should not be directed to change by mental-health professionals. Conversely, clients who seek sexual reorientation deserve properly informed and competent psychological care from therapists who use interventions that have been scientifically demonstrated as helpful for achieving this goal."

Nicholas Cummings, a past APA president and author of Destructive Trends in Mental Health, concurred.

"This is a basic tenant of psychotherapy, that religion for most people is an anchor," he told CitizenLink. "To pull that out from under them is an egregious thing to do."

In finding that there is substantial evidence that sexual orientation may be changed through therapy, the study also found that treatment success for clients seeking to change unwanted homosexuality and develop their heterosexual potential has been documented in the professional and research literature since the late 19th century.

"We acknowledge that change in sexual orientation may be difficult to attain," NARTH says in the report. "As with other difficult challenges and behavioral patterns — such as low-self-esteem, abuse of alcohol, social phobias, eating disorders, or borderline personality disorder, as well as sexual compulsions and addictions — change through therapy does not come easily. Relapses to old forms of thinking and behaving are — as is the case with most forms of psychotherapy for most psychological conditions — not uncommon."

Nonetheless, the report continues, "we conclude that the documented benefits of reorientation therapy — and the lack of its documented general harmfulness —support its continued availability to clients who exercise their right of therapeutic autonomy and self-determination through ethically informed consent."

A third major finding of the study is that there is significantly greater medical, psychological and relational pathology in the homosexual population than the general population.

"Overall, many of these problematic behaviors and psychological dysfunctions are experienced among homosexuals at about three times the prevalence found in the general population — and sometimes much more," the report states. "Investigators using modern, state-of-the-art research methods have documented that many different pathological traits are more prevalent in homosexual than in heterosexual groups. We believe that no other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology."

Among the scientific findings cited in the study:

• Despite knowing the AIDS risk, homosexuals repeatedly and pathologically continue to indulge in unsafe sex practices.

• Homosexuals represent the highest number of STD cases.

• Many homosexual sex practices are medically dangerous, with or without "protection."

• More than one-third of homosexual men and women are substance abusers.

• Forty percent of homosexual adolescents report suicidal histories.

• Homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to have mental-health concerns, such as eating disorders, personality disorders, paranoia, depression and anxiety.

• Homosexual relationships are more violent than heterosexual relationships.

• Societal bias and discrimination do not, in and of themselves, contribute to the majority of increased health risks for homosexuals.

Jeff Johnston, gender issue analyst for Focus on the Family, said these findings should have an impact on "those who claim to have the best interests of the gay community at heart."

"True social justice, compassion, concern and intellectual honesty," he explained, "dictate that men and women who want to pursue freedom from homosexuality – whether because of their faith or because of the health risks associated with homosexuality – should be afforded that opportunity by the mental health industry, including its associations and educational institutions."


Perverse British justice again

Teenage rapist charged with new sex attack just eight days after judge let him walk free. One often gets the impression that the only serious offence in Leftist Britain is being middle class

The Attorney General has been asked to investigate the case of a rapist who was allowed to walk free from court with a community sentence - and allegedly struck again just days later. The 16-year-old, who admitted raping a minor and a series of other sexual offences, is accused of committing a further rape just eight days after his release. The teenager - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - received a three-year community rehabilitation order instead of the custodial sentence which the police and families of the victims had expected.

Immediately after the case, Crown Prosecution Service lawyers wrote to the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, in an attempt to use the Unduly Lenient Sentence procedure to have the case considered for referral to the Court of Appeal. The rarely used measure allows the CPS to request a review of any sentence it believes falls below guidelines.

According to police sources, senior detectives involved in the case were dismayed and frustrated that the teenager was allowed to return to his home on the council estate where the first rape took place. The original case was dealt with at a Crown Court earlier this year. Following the latest alleged attack, the teenager has appeared at a youth court charged with raping a boy and causing a boy to engage in sexual activity. This time the teenager was remanded in custody for committal proceedings.

Meanwhile, his close-knit local community has been left in a state of disbelief by the chain of events, with friends and family of the victims incensed he was let out to allegedly attack again. The teenager was allegedly known by police for his sexual interest in young boys. Last night, one mother who lives locally said: 'This youth is a danger to children. It is beyond belief that he was not locked away to protect kiddies in the area. This latest incident has left everyone sickened because he has been a real threat in this area for some time. 'It is inconceivable that he was allowed to return home and back to this neighbourhood. The courts should have done something about him and we feel that we've been let down.'

As part of the three-year community rehabilitation order, the youth, who is now 16, would have received counselling sessions to address his behaviour and supervision from probation officers. The judge, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would also have ruled that the teenager be placed on the Sex Offenders Register and must attend meetings with social services. But a legal source said last night: 'What he received was the soft option and it allowed him to be released back to the area where his victims lived. 'As a result of him being freed he was arrested again, but this time he was placed in custody. The system failed because he should have been imprisoned for his initial offences. This was not a one-off offence, it was a catalogue of sexual offending.'

The accused boy's family - he lived with his mother after his parents separated - have since left the area and moved into a safe house following threats.

A neighbour claims that the boy's mother had pleaded with social services to take him into care, but was ignored. During the original Crown Court case, the judge heard that the victim had been lured to the boy's bedroom, where he was assaulted. The alarm was raised after the victim later told his parents about the incident. The court was asked to take a further three sexual assaults of minors into consideration when sentencing.

The Ministry of Justice said last night that the maximum sentence for rape is life, whatever the ages of the perpetrator or victim. If the victim is under 13, the starting point is 10 years' imprisonment. Normally a sentence falls between eight and 13 years, but a judge can waver from these guidelines if there are aggravating or mitigating circumstances. The spokesman said: 'Normally there would be a custodial sentence of some degree. Six years if possible or even four years. But to go from an eight-year minimum sentence to a community order is a huge leap. 'Our official line is that this is a matter for the courts and the Attorney General to consider a sentence which may be unduly lenient.'

The CPS confirmed that the sentence has been referred to the Attorney General for consideration under the Unduly Lenient Sentence procedure. 'It is for the Attorney General to decide whether to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal,' the spokesman added.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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